Monday, August 11, 2008

mptf - act ii

Aha, the crowds were back on Thursday eve to witness moby dick or is that the way they would like to hear it and get accused of being branded moby dick for a man's mobile phone to ring! despite the a nutshell as a fellow blogger Sudhir put it across ultra creative! ultra ambiguous!! and yet this solo performance for one required some knowledge about the life of moby dick which perhaps half the crowd knew nothing about so I could guess the confusion. But for the other half who I guess knew what they saw there it was all for you the ever ruthless moby dick, the beautiful white sperm whale, graceful in its movements all brought alive by the performer(Carlo Adinolfi) with his props, with perfect steps and a doubly perfect sound and light coordination that none could find fault with. The tete a tete interaction that followed the show was informative of course I was just too glad that N.Ram has raised the very valid query on whaling and conservation (guess me too was waiting to gun him nay harpoon him on that). While commending on the ingenuity of the props which were amazing what surprises me was the brochure tells me that the performance was to last 70 minutes! But on stage what we saw was 60 minutes!! of course it was clear that the last scene wasn't yet over and yet the ignorant half of our audience began its applause, guess they had enough of it!!! And the plays on friday and saturday sorry am gleefully ignorant, friday of course had my radio I missed the Presidential address leave alone see who it was! And saturday WOW could not afford to miss the Chennai Food Guide meet (an orkut group) Mmmmm am drooling!! thinking of The Farm, what a place on OMR and the food was awesome. Wish we could have one more CFG meet on The Farm.

And its time for the last day last show at the mptf, well criticism apart thanks and no thanks for all that went well and didn't go well!! And what a way to end the festival that had its ups and downs with a marvelous compere who scripted his talk so perfectly. Trust Vijay Marur did his part very well! and Chennai!! don't let him to go to Hyderabad!!! He's one of the really good compere's we've seen in a long while. And about 'The Suit', trust me I still haven't got the right words to describe this intense play, but then the story was such and the actors simply simply played their roles so wonderfully intense that am at a loss to criticise Neelam M. Chowdhry. Of course the story of Can Themba was tweaked around not just a bit, but then why on earth are we trying to conform to a cliche and then punish those who want to break free! Ah well that's an issue for our society to debate on (and at my end all that can be said is Man is a social animal, A social animal needs a variety, And variety is the spice of life!). Adding some spice to the whole thing was Vajinder's display of his 6 pack abs...ooh la la...exhibitionism! And yes N. Mansingh Chowdhry defended herself to a large extent on the acts and roles portrayed during the tete a tete but then as she made it clear she didn't want to take a stand and yet the irony remained. But guess one thing that went sadly unnoticed was the physical presence of and importance to the background accompaniments i.e. the artists who provided the sound effects, in fact it a rare event these days to prominently notice the accompanying artists providing the background score along with the performers on stage... like in the good old days! Perhaps that's what life and theatre is all about, the schism between the reel and the real, and amidst this remains many a thing to be discovered.

Now apart from the play once again I must question the organisers the logic behind staging 'The Suit' towards the end. Am certainly of the view that a lighter one would have gone well with the crowds. And am not finding fault with the play or the reasoning behind having it on a Sunday evening but a play of this nature should have been categorized in a different manner. I guess you should rethink on categorising plays on the lines of theme based or issues. The organisers of such a premier festival have a bounden duty in addition to the seminars and workshops hosted to educate the general public in a subtle way. I strongly believe that it is one of the noble objectives of The Hindu to evolve public opinion on issues that concern the general public and definitely you should not lose sight that theatre is a powerful media that helps shape public opinion.


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